Teach a Man to Fish

Almost everyone knows the adage, “Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day.  Teach a GiveAFishman to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.”

In school, a teacher shouldn’t give the students the answers without teaching them how and why; neither should they teach just so the students will pass the test — a good teacher wants each student to master the subject of the class, to finish the class knowing.

Likewise, a good parent doesn’t coddle their children through to adulthood.  At some point, the parent needs to stop spoon-feeding and changing diapers, else the child will remain a child, and have no value as a parent in the next generation.

So what about missions?  Since God doesn’t provide details in His Word much beyond “Go”, each missionary/mission field combination is going to be different.  God gave each of us a unique set of skills/gifts that He helps us apply in the way best suited to accomplish His goals.  There are missionaries that God has tasked to spend their lives handing out fish.  God’s method of ‘getting the Word out’ in the Transkei, Eastern Cape, South Africa, has become to teach fishermen.

Mentioned in other posts, the Koskys have been in the Transkei for 25 years, the only full-time missionaries in the rural areas.  Many souls have been brought to the Lord, hundreds of churches planted, and many ministries have been started.

Around 80% of the churches are independent, and most of the operators/board members of the ministries are amaXhosa — from what we’ve gleaned, non-Xhosa leadership in the ministries is only on an as-needed basis.

Gatyana Bible College is a great example of what’s being done in the region.  The school is the only Bible school teaching in the native language (isiXhosa), the only governed mostly by native black Africans (plus Kelly), and to graduate you have to take a ‘fishing trip’ to a Xhosa village, of which there are tens of thousands!  Check out more on GaFishtyana here.

I can remember in High School, a number of times kids would come to class having not done their homework and would ask me for the answers.  I couldn’t do it, no matter who was asking I couldn’t just give up the answers.  They learned to come early if they were gonna ask me, because I’d make them work through the answers themselves, guiding as necessary.  At the end of my first year of Calculus, one regular thanked me for teaching rather than just giving out the answers.  I can’t imagine doing it any other way, and I think this further confirms God’s ability to match people and places.

What We Believe

[Click here for the long version, with all scripture references printed]


The Scriptures

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally and completely inspired Word of God. We hold the Bible to be inerrant in the original writings, infallible, God-breathed, and the complete and final authority for faith and practice (Matt 5:18; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:20-21).

The Godhead

We believe in one God, Creator of all (Gen 1:1; 1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:16), eternally existing and revealed in three distinct persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (2 Cor 13:14), yet one in being, essence, power, and glory, having the same attributes and perfections (John 10:30).

The Person and Work of Christ

  1. We believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is very God, the express image of the Father, who, without ceasing to be God, became man in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man (Matt 1:21; John 1:18; Col 1:15).
  2. We believe that God the Son became incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ; that He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary; that He is truly God and truly man; that He lived a perfect, sinless life; that all His teachings and utterances are true (Isa 7:14; Matt 1:23).
  3. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for all mankind (1 John 2:2) as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice (Isa 53:5-6). We hold that through His death and shed blood, all who believe are justified (John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Rom 5:9; Eph 1:7); and that it is attested by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Matt 28:6; 1 Pet 1:3).
  4. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven in His glorified body (Acts 1:9) and is now seated at the right hand of God as our High Priest and Advocate (Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25).
  5. We believe that as the Holy Spirit distributes gifts to believers, the Lord Jesus Christ determines the path in His service by which the believer is to utilize those gifts (Eph 4:7-13).

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

  1. We believe in the deity (Acts 5:3-4) and the personality of the Holy Spirit.
  2. We believe that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7-11). He regenerates sinners (Titus 3:5) and indwells believers (Rom 8:9). He is the agent by whom Christ baptizes all believers into His body (1 Cor 12:12-13). He is the seal by whom the Father seals believers unto the day of redemption (Eph 1:13-14). He is the Divine Teacher who illumines believers’ hearts and minds as they study the Holy Scriptures (1 Cor 2:9-12).
  3. We believe it is the duty and privilege of all the saved to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:31). This filling is commanded (Eph 5:18). To be filled one must release his will to the Spirit’s control (Rom 8:14) and live in submission to it (Gal 5:16). The results of filling are victory over sin, Christlike character, worship, submissiveness, and service (Gal 5:22-23).
  4. We believe that the Holy Spirit gives gifts to each member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:11), and that it is He whom determines the allocation (1 Cor 12:7-11). Each believer is to exercise his spiritual gift(s) for the common good to the building up of the body of Christ (Eph 4:1-12).

Angels, Good and Evil

  1. We believe in the reality and personality of angels. We believe that God created an innumerable company of these spiritual beings who were to be His messengers (Neh 9:6; Ps 148:2; Matt 24:31; Luke 1:19; Heb 1:14).
  2. We believe in the personality of Satan. He is a fallen angel who led a great company of angels into rebellion against God (Isa 14:12-17; Ezek 28:12-15). He is the great enemy of God and man, and his angels are his agents in the prosecution of his unholy purposes. He shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Matt 25:41; Rev 20:10).


We believe that man came into being by direct creation of God and that man is made in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26-27; 2:7).


We believe that the human race sinned in Adam (Rom 5:12), that sin is universal in man (Rom 3:23), and that it is exceedingly heinous to God (Ps 5:5). We believe that man inherited a sinful nature (Ps 51:5), that he became alienated from God (Col 1:21), that he became totally depraved, and that of himself, he is utterly unable to remedy his lost estate (Eph 2:1-3, 12). We believe that all men are guilty and in a lost condition apart from Christ (Rom 3:10-18).


  1. We believe that salvation is a gift of God’s grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross (Eph 2:8-9). Christ shed His blood to accomplish justification through faith, propitiation to God, redemption from sin, and reconciliation of man. “Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8-9) and “bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Pet 2:24).
  2. We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30).
  3. We believe that it is the privilege of all who are born again to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word (Rom 8:16; 1 John 5:13).

The Church

  1. We believe that the Church, which is the body and bride of Christ, began at Pentecost and includes all born-again persons of this present age (Acts 2:1-42; 1 Cor 12:12-14; Eph 1:22-23).
  2. We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 1 Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9).
  3. We believe in the ordinances of believer’s water baptism as a testimony and the Lord’s Supper as a remembrance in this age of Christ’s death for the Church (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 1 Cor 11:23-26).
  4. We believe that the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord, and that separation from religious apostasy, sinful pleasures, practices, and associations is commanded by God (Rom 12:1-2; 2 Cor 6:14-17; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
  5. We believe in the Great Commission as the primary mission of the Church. It is the obligation of the saved to witness, by word and life, to the truths of Holy Scripture. The gospel of the grace of God is to be preached to all the world (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).

Things to Come

  1. We believe in that “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13), the personal, imminent (Matt 24:42-44; 1 Cor 15:51-52; Phil 3:20) coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to rapture His saints and receive His Church unto Himself (1 Thess 4:13-18).
  2. We believe in the subsequent, visible return of Christ to the earth with His saints (Matt 24:29-31).
  3. We believe in the physical resurrection of all men, the saints to everlasting joy and bliss, the wicked to conscious and eternal torment (Matt 25:46; John 5:28-29; Rev 20:5-6, 12-13).
  4. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8; Phil 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess 4:16-17).
  5. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection when, with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne judgment and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting separation from God (2 Thess 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev 20:11-15).